At long last, my AeroGarden Ultra is in my non green-thumbed hands. Well to be perfectly honest, it arrived a few days ago however I found yourself in New York on a fucking unscheduled work assignment. Of course I did follow it religiously online as it traversed our beloved US, right up to the moment when it reached my doorway. Kudos to AeroGrow for getting it to show up well in time for the holiday season as they had assured me it would. When I finally arrived home I found the box looking a little roughed up and oddly it looked like it had been examined by Homeland Security as there was their now-famous green strip on the box. Not particularly keen on having some suit ruffling through my new kit, but thankfully it was an organised suit as none of the contents appeared to be missing or damaged.
In the box, I found a brochure..
What!? I haven’t even set this one up and they are already trying to sell me another one!
a handbook on how to set up and use, as well as the seed kits that I had to purchase separately…
Stingy fuckers! – they could have thrown these in considering how much this bad boy cost me.
I had gone with the cherry tomato kit and a natural herb kit where you can select which herbs you want included but now I’m having second thoughts and I wish I had skipped the tomatoes for another herb set because everybody has been telling that cultivating tomatoes inside is a bugger to get any type of decent harvest. Oh well you can’t win them all.
The box itself was very well packaged as nothing was damaged even with Homeland Security’s nosiness. The bottom of the device is much nicer and cooler-looking than previous versions of the Aerogardens, other than that, it looks pretty much the same on the face of it, although with the new lighting and other innards, i suspect it works a lot better than its ancestors.
Assembly: Assembly was a breeze, in fact, you probably don’t need the handbook as it all pretty much fits together intuitively. After I finished assembling the unit and switched it on, the control panel in front pretty much took over and starts telling you what to do. Right, that’s all I need another fucking boss! But at least this one is going to provide some nice treats – fingers crossed. The control panel apparently keeps track of the date and the amount of time since ‘planting’ the seeds. It also keeps track of the nutrients, reminding you when you have to add more. The instructions themselves are displayed on a backlit screen that is very clear irrespective of the ambient lighting conditions and even when the AeroGarden light is on. There are some doozies though, like when it says ‘Germination Mode’, what exactly does that mean and when does it come to an end: after the seeds have sprouted or when they produce their first leaves? They could have been a bit more explicit. It looks like it only has a bearing on the pump activity which apparently will not run as often for the first few weeks as the seeds are taking root.
Opinion: Anyway, overall, when you compare AeroGardens to other types of indoor herb gardens that you can get, I think the ones from AeroGrow are the best and have some terrific design features, however ultimately, the proof will be in the pudding, as they say, or rather in this case the salad when the first herbs rear their lovely heads.